Tired of searching for a parking slot outside a crowded supermarket? Just click and order your groceries online

Finally, it's Sunday and after a hectic week of work all you want to do is laze about in your pyjamas and watch television through the day. But then you realise the larder is near empty and the last thing you want to do is go grocery shopping. Ordinarily you would still have to drag yourself to the supermarket, stand in a queue and lug bagfuls of pulses, grains and washing powder home…but not today. Instead just turn on your computer and shop online for your provisions. Washing powder — click, dal — click, basmati rice — click…

While shopping for books, DVDs and lifestyle products has become quite popular over the years, grocery shopping as a concept is just starting out. “We started Jihazoor in May 2011. There are a lot of old people, physically-challenged people and working couples who find it difficult to get their grocery. We want to make it easier for them,” says Nirbhay Shah, marketing head, Jihazoor.com.

Jihazoor now has around 275 enrolled members who order regularly and around 150 who order occasionally. But Nirbhay still believes that the trend of online grocery shopping is yet to catch up in Chennai. “We are conservative here. People want to see the products before buying them. That's why I let my clients come to my outlet and take a look at the products,” he says.

In addition to the convenience factor Jihazoor also has special offers and redeemable points and the products are priced below the original MRP. “Since we get discounts on bulk purchase, I in turn offer discounts to my clients.”

Chennaionlinegrocery.com yet another city-based portal has been around for five years. A.R. Sundar, manager, Chennaionlinegrocery.com says, “Given the escalating fuel prices and busy lifestyle of people we thought a service such as this would make things available at their doorstep.” In the last six months there has been an influx of clients. “We have about 200 members with a majority being people employed in the IT sector. Sometimes we even deliver their provisions to their workplaces,” says Sundar. While Chennaionlinegrocery gets their staff to personally pick up provisions from the stores and outlets, aaramshop.com, a Delhi-based organisation that was started seven months back, has tied up with neighbourhood retailer stores to deliver the products.

Aramshop caters to Chennai as well. “The idea was not just to make life simpler but also empower these small shops by making them independent and competitive. As soon as clients place their orders, the retailer gets an SMS and delivers the products,” explains Vijay Singh, CEO, aaramshop.com. He says that they get more orders on weekends. The number normally goes up to 200 and more and on weekdays it's around 125. As of now aaramshop has tied up with just 14 stores in Chennai but going by their popularity they plan to tie up with a few more. “To make this concept even more accessible we also have a Facebook and mobile app,” adds Vijay.